Is this a county fair nightmare?
By Peyton Pitman, Staff Writer
I bet if I said the words “country fair” or “agricultural festival,” many different images might pop into your mind. Let’s be real, whether you go for the food trucks or the long string of games that dent your bank account, most people would say the fair is an enjoyable time.
However, at one country fair in Harrow, Ontario, not everyone feels that way.
A video posted online of a sport called “pigeon bowling” sparked outrage amongst animal rights advocates. Fairgoers who participate in this sport use a flightless breed of pigeons known as Parlor Rollers. Contestants hold their pigeon, crouch down to get ready, and toss the birds across the grass to see who can achieve the furthest distance.
According to the Harrow Fair website, people participate in these contest to watch them “flip, flop, and flap as they somersault over the ground like a bowling ball with wings.”
This act of exploitation is outrageous—a manifestation of animal cruelty.
The president of the fair, Luke Korcok, has no plans to stop the inhumane sport. Their team has stated on multiple occasions they do not condone violence of any kind; they are just letting the pigeons do what they were intended to do: roll.
But the truth is, willful ignorance leads to apathy. If you don’t start caring now, this problem will not be solved and will continue to grow until other mistreatments are considered acceptable.
If you agree that the exploitation of these birds needs to be stopped, you can send an email requesting this sport be taken off the competition list in the future. Go to https://harrowfair.com/contact/ to send Harrow Fair a message.
Don’t doubt your power because every single person counts.
I agree. There are many risks that can come with this. Such as hitting their heads, breaking their neck or bones, or hitting other fatal places in their skeletal system.
From what I have researched, their exhibition of tumbling, is a result of neurological tampering that was bred into them. This makes their tumbling completely uncontrollable. I’ve seen some studies that state that tumbling for these breeds may actually be stressful for the birds. An example I’ve seen was a rescue pidgeon who apparently used to be used in these competitions. She was always very hesitant to try to fly. Even when she wanted to get off of her perch. She needed manual assistance to get off of her perch without tumbling down.
I feel awful for these pigeons. They’re key natural instinct to fly was taken away from them for a bunch of thugs to throw around. It’s really sad. Especially because there’s very few roller and tumbling breeds that can actually fly properly. Hopefully they can be bred to not have this trait anymore.